Posts Tagged ‘Tufts University’


Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

According to new studies released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a clinical trial conducted by researchers at Tufts University in Boston revealed that adults who consumed a diet rich in whole grains rather than refined grains had modest improvements in healthy gut microbiota and certain immune responses.  The research was conducted in tandem with a study that looked at the effects of a whole-grain diet on energy metabolism, suggesting that substituting grains increases caloric loss by reducing calories retained during digestion and speeding up metabolism.

During an eight week period, 81 men and women between the ages of 40-65 were split into two groups.  For the first two weeks, both groups enjoyed comparable meals, based on total energy, fat, and number of fruit, vegetable, and protein servings, including only refined grains (such as white flour, white rice, and white bread).  Refined grains are starches that have been processed and broken down into a finer texture, primarily to increase shelf life.  By the third week, 41 participants switched from refined to whole grains (those which include the outer nutritious layer of grains, found in products such as whole-wheat flour, oatmeal and brown rice) for the remainder of the study. (more…)


Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Kombucha Stink

Kombucha drinks are no longer relegated to specialty markets, such as Whole Foods and Bristol Farms, or in the dark corners of national chains.  The mainstream popularity of the “sour-sweet, fizzy, fermented tea” can be attributed to the increase probiotic and detox diet crazes, as well as its strong celebrity associations.  According to a recent article in The Atlantic, while the origins of kombucha can be traced back to both China and Russia, as well as Korea and Tibet, it is still a mystery how the fibrous SCOBY (anagram for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), which ferments sugary tea into kombucha, arrived in America.  Popular brands such as GT’s Organic Raw, Synergy, Kombucha Wonder Drink, Latta, and Celestial Seasonings produce numerous varieties of the “wonder tonic,” which alleges everything from improving digestion and immunity, to lowering cholesterol, and even warding off certain cancers.

But the tide may soon turn.  According to Dr. Brent A. Bauer, an internist with the Mayo Clinic, “To date, there hasn’t been a single human trial reported in a major medical journal,” he said.  “This doesn’t mean that kombucha tea can’t possibly have health benefits, it just means that at this time, there’s no direct evidence that it provides the benefits it’s reported to have.”  In a recent podcast of Gastropod, Tufts University microbiologist Ben Wolfe, concurs with Bauer’s assessment.  Wolfe, who has created a kombucha culture “zoo” at the university, does, however, suggest “a potential mechanism through which fermented tea might have a positive impact on the gut microbiome.” (more…)